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This week the Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that it will begin the distribution of a remaining $83 million in its Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF).

While the SBA had thought that it had expended all its COVID-19 pandemic emergency funds, after changes to their payout plans, it was discovered that there were several million dollars remaining in the RRF. This is now due to be distributed by the SBA to small business restaurant owners starting this week.

Image courtesy SBA

The distribution standard is “funds will be distributed from SBA to those hardest-hit by COVID in the restaurant industry.” As of the announcement, a reported 169 restaurant operators were waiting for distributions from the RRF.

The program was established as a means of supporting service industry establishments during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns and mandated closures. Several associations worked with the SBA to make sure that there were federal pandemic relief dollars for several categories of small businesses. Restaurants were immediately put on that list.

The SBA conducted an independent audit this past summer, and found that it had $180 million in unobligated RRF money that wasn’t connected to any distribution plan for needy applicants (revised downward this past week to the $83 million number; which it defined as restaurants that hadn’t returned to pre-COVID revenue levels.

The SBA will begin distributing RRF grants this week which must be spent by restaurant owners and operators by March 2023. To learn more, visit SBA.gov to read its revised guide for applications.